By Charles Towne
Buddy bear was only about a year old when I met him and he taught me a lot as I followed him. One of the things he taught me is that bears, all bears, have a finely honed curiosity.
As I followed the little guy on his explorations he was prone to examine each and every hole in the ground, hollow tree, and rotten log to see what it might contain.
Sometimes his explorations would pay off with a nest of delectable ants or some sweet and juicy grubs, but then one day it happened, the little bear stuck his head in the wrong hole.
In that hole, minding its own business, taking a nap, or some other mundane activity, was a snake. The snake could very well have been a diamondback rattlesnake, but luckily for Buddy, it was an average-sized, generic black racer. As we all know black racers are harmless members of the snaky kind, but Buddy didn’t understand harmless.
The black racer came boiling out of that hole right into Buddy bear’s face.
Buddy, in case you are wondering, knew he was about to be eaten by that vicious, raging, in your face SNAKE!
In case you didn’t know, bears consider all snakes deadly, and from generations of bad experiences taught them by venomous members of the snaky kind, are wise to avoid all snakes, all the time.
When the black racer erupted from that hole into Buddy’s face it frightened the little bear so bad that he proved, beyond a benefit of the doubt, that bears do in fact, “bleep” In the woods.
My courageous little bear friend was so frightened he fell over backward, landing on his broad bear behind, and then, moaning all the while he dashed up a nearby oak tree to sit up there staring down at the ground as though he expected the snake to follow him, while he cried and whimpered and pouted for the next hour.
Editor’s Note: Please stay tuned next week for another episode from Buddy bear’s life growing up in the big swamp next to central Florida’s beautiful Wekiva River)
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.